In 2001, when I was younger and all that goes with that, I was on the US Maccabiah Games triathlon team that would compete in the so-called Jewish Olympics held in Israel every four years. As my friend put it, I wanted to be the world’s fastest Jewish triathlete, something I didn’t do when I competed in the Games four years prior in 1997.
For the price of one four day pass to the Master’s golf tournament this weekend, you could get a) a year’s tuition at a New York State University, b) a trip for two to Paris c) a motorcycle. This isn’t a multiple choice question. I’m saying you can get all of these for the price of one ticket, which right now is averaging over $13,000 on the secondary market. Of course, the list price is only $200, but you have to have been born into that, since an actual ticket hasn’t been up for sale for decades. So if you want in to Augusta National, you have to scalp your passes like everyone else that isn’t a corporate sponsor.
I am the father of two boys, aged 3 and 5, whom I’m actually quite fond of. That’s despite their, shall we say, unpredictable behavior, which can range from angelic to beyond maddening, and I’m being generous. Like one time when they older decided to cover the younger in shampoo, despite not being in the shower. And when these things happen, you try not to lose your cool, which is like trying not to break 55 on a highway in the desert. Sometimes you even say a few words you might regret, like words you can’t say on public radio but your kids manage to repeat in public at remarkably inopportune moments.
Major League Baseball kicked off the 2013 season this week with near perfect pitching, big hits, and big wins.
The LA Dodger’s Clayton Kershaw pitched a complete shut out in his first outing of the season, not to mention his walk off home run to win the game. The powerhouse New York Yankees, depicted on the cover of the New Yorker as geriatric patients, lost to the rival Boston Red Sox. But, the New York Mets won their opening salvo with a commanding 11 to 2 runs scored over the San Diego Padres.
There was an entertaining documentary on ESPN recently about North Carolina State’s unlikely run to an NCAA men’s basketball championship in 1983 where they beat an otherwise unbeatable University of Houston team in the finals. NC State was the ultimate underdog, winning games in the final moments against much deeper competition. And particularly since their coach Jim Valvano’s passing from cancer several years ago, this Wolfpack team has been memorialized as perhaps the most cherished championship team in college basketball history.
Yesterday was a two hour delay in our school district. That’s mainly because we’ve already used up all our snow days, so cancelling the whole day would have cut into spring break, and no one wants that. So in our two hours of free time, my five year old son and I did what most families did, I’m sure. We filled out NCAA tournament brackets. I did mine, and Sloan did his. If Sloan wins, he doesn’t have to put his clothes away for a week. If I win, well, there’s nothing on the table, but I’ll probably feel less guilty when I eat half his Halloween candy next year.
In case you’re wondering, last night you may have seen the last ever men’s basketball game between Big East Conference foes Seton Hall and South Florida. It’s probably a good thing, since the game was absolutely awful.
By all accounts, last week was a good week for Danica Patrick. First she won the pole position to Sunday’s main event. Then she dominated press week and avoided any kind of slip that often accompanies that intensity. And finally, she finished eighth overall in the race, entering the final lap in the top three with a legitimate chance to win. So all and all, I’d say it was a really nice week.
It’s been the best of times, and the worst of times for the University of Miami athletics. On the one hand, the Hurricanes have the number two men’s basketball team in the country, which is quite something for a school that usually sees basketball as simply a bridge between bowl season and spring football.
Last week a sports writer visited campus to talk with students. Before the big presentation, a student asked him what he thought about Orlando Cruz, a professional boxer who recently announced he is gay, the first and only professional boxer to do so. And the writer simply said this issue is going to be the Jackie Robinson of this generation. The handful of 20 year olds sitting around the table got what he meant, maybe even more than 70 year olds that lived through baseball’s integration.